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The Donna Nigh Foundation

Former Governor and First Lady of Oklahoma, George and Donna Nigh on a recent visit to Woven Life, a local nonprofit offering development programming for children ages 0-5 and recent grant recipient of the Donna Nigh Foundation.

December 31 with fall decor

About Donna Nigh

In 1985, friends of Donna Nigh formed the Donna Nigh Foundation as a birthday present and in recognition of Mrs. Nigh’s commitment and work on behalf of the state’s developmentally disabled residents, a cause she has championed since 1968. Since its inception, the Donna Nigh Foundation has awarded grants helping thousands of Oklahomans and their families. Many of these grants provide funding for adaptive equipment for individuals in private residences, group homes and schools with the goal of helping these individuals be as self-sufficient as possible.

Grants for Organizations

Eligibility:

  • Applicant must provide direct services to individuals with severe to profound intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD).
  • Organization must be located in the state of Oklahoma.
  • Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, an accredited public or private school or other publicly-supported agency.

Grants up to $8,000 will be awarded.

Eligible for Funding:

  • Environmental and Recreational Adaptations
  • Classroom Cognition & Developmental Equipment
  • Sheltered Workshop Equipment and Activities


The Donna Nigh Foundation will not accept grant applications requesting funding for special events or capital/maintenance improvements.

Deadline for Application: June 1

How to Apply

Email us with a brief description of your project.  If your organization and the project fit the criteria, you will be sent an access code and link for the online application.  The request for the link to the online application must be submitted a week prior to the deadline. Any requests after that time will not be considered.

A New Leaf – $3,150 – to purchase 10 adult tricycles to encourage their residential clients to be more physically active.

Berryhill Public Schools – $2,248 – to purchase swings and iPads to help create a sensory-friendly environment that provides equal opportunities for all their students.

Building All Children – $4,500 – to support their BUILD Library, which provides developmental toys, games, books and other resources families can check out to support development growth.

Burlington Public School – $5,476 – to develop an outdoor sensory area for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

Center of Family Love – $8,000 – to support the development of a virtual reality job training program for Center of Family Love residents.

Central Oklahoma Camp and Conference Center – $8,000 – to replace their chair lift and purchase other adaptive swimming equipment to help campers access and enjoy the pool.

Columbus Corporation of Oklahoma City – $8,000 – to support their Wheelie Club, a games-based program for children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

Deer Creek Community Enrichment Foundation – $6,615 – to purchase communication boards to assist communication with special needs students on elementary school playgrounds.

Douglass High School – $5,612 – to support a cooking class to teach basic life skills and encourage independence after high school.

Friends of the Kiddie Park – $8,000 – to update the park to be a safer and friendlier place for special needs children.

Gatesway Foundation – $8,000 – to update seven restrooms in their new Gatesway Legacy Home to make them ADA-friendly.

Not Your Average Joe – $8,000 – to purchase adaptive equipment for their warehouse, training centers and coffee shops so they can further engage their neuro-diverse staff.

Panama Public Schools – $8,000 – to establish Java Hogs Café, a student-run coffee shop where students with disabilities can develop essential job skills.

Special Olympics Oklahoma – $2,500 – to purchase new cornhole equipment to be used at their 14 area programs across Oklahoma and at their state winter and summer games.

SunHive Collective – $2,100 – to support scholarships for six campers to attend SunHive’s new summer day camps.

Wings, A Special Needs Community – $6,320 – to purchase screen magnifiers and balance ball chairs for the Wings Educational Day Program.

Ability Connection Oklahoma – $6,000 – to purchase an iPad and speech “app” for use as a speech communication device for non-verbal children. 

A New Leaf – $7,831.20 – to purchase and install adaptive shower chairs for all 24 bathrooms at The Village. 

Aspiring Attitudes – $5,024.82 – for the purchase and installation of wall-mounted ballet barres to assist students with balance issues as they learn to skip or work on dance moves.

Beyond the Spectrum OK -$8,000 – to provide free services and resources to children on the spectrum and their families at their Family Center in Oklahoma City.

Bowser’s Peace Sanctuary – $475.00 – to renovate a horse-drawn carriage to make it wheel-chair accessible so people of all abilities can participate in carriage rides around their sanctuary.

Central Oklahoma Camp and Conference Center – $8,000 – to purchase and install accessible changing tables at their camping facility so people of all abilities can participate in camp activities and experience unique outdoor experiences.

D-DENT – $1,350 – to provide spin brushes and one on one training on how to utilize the brushes to individuals with developmental disabilities.

Deer Creek Schools Foundation – $7,010 – to purchase two Ready Bodies, Learning Minds motor labs classroom kits for use by special education students of to calm the brain and enhance academic learning.

Gatesway Foundation – $4,605.66 – for the purchase of two transfer lifts with scales to assist people with limited mobility as they move from bed to wheelchairs or other assisting devices. 

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Oklahoma & North Texas-$8,000 – to purchase and install new new handicap accessible doors for their Lawton location.

Hollis Public Schools – $4,000 – to purchase modern, quality multi-sensory tools for use by students coping with severe disabilities as they work with special education teachers and therapists.

Home of Hope, Inc. – $7,717.45 – to purchase geriatric wheel chairs, portable wheel chair scales and adaptive technology so staff can administer daily health checks, meals and services for individuals who are non-ambulatory.

Lake McMurtry Friends – $3,200 – to create a universal access tent campsite to reduce barriers for people of all levels of ability who want to enjoy camping in the outdoors.

Little Light House – $5000 – to purchase specialized rockers, toys, equipment and supplies for students with disabilities who need more stimulation.

Not Your Average Joe – $8,000 – for adaptive equipment and technology to help employees with intellectual or developmental disabilities work at their coffee shop in Moore.

Special Care-$8,000 – for adaptive equipment and sensory supplies to help children explore their senses and experience them in ways that over time will support skill development to improve their daily lives.

Team Hoyt Oklahoma – $5,500 – to purchase Hoyt Running Chairs and bike booms so people with disabilities can join with others during bicycling activities.

Grants for Individuals

Eligibility:

  • Applicant must have a diagnosis of a severe to profound developmental disability and a need that is unmet by government or private sources.
  • Applicants can be of any age.
  • Applicants must reside in the state of Oklahoma.
  • Because there are limited funds available, applications are evaluated and grants will be made where there can be the most impact. Financial need must be documented.

One-time grants up to $2,500 will be awarded.

Assistance Provided for Adaptive Equipment (Not Services) Such as:

  • Aids for Daily Living
  • Mobility Seating/Positioning
  • Classroom Learning Cognition & Developmental Equipment
  • Environmental Adaptations


Please Note:

  • One-time grants up to $2,500 will be awarded.
  • Grants are not guaranteed.
  • Grants are reviewed on a quarterly basis and recipients will be notified once a decision is made.
  • Grants are paid to vendors or nonprofit agencies, not individuals.

How to Apply

Contact Rosena Rucker with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. You can reach Rosena at [email protected].

How Can We Help You?

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Jennifer Stewart, CAP®


Director, Donor Services

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Madeline Bennett


Nonprofit Endowments

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Wanda Minter


Scholarship Programs

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Keaton Van Sickle


Grants